|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual introduction.
Body. Discuss various achievements of India in Space S&T. Discuss socio-economic development through application of space technology
Conclusion. Way forward.
India has become a significant global player in space science and technological (S&T). From a modest beginning in the 1960s, India’s space programme has grown steadily, achieving significant milestones. These include fabrication of satellites, space-launch vehicles, and a range of associated capabilities.
Achievements in Space S&T:
- Telecommunication: The first area of achievement was satellite communication, with INSAT and GSAT as the backbones. This cater to the national needs for telecommunication, broadcasting and broadband infrastructure. Gradually, bigger satellites have been built carrying a larger array of transponders. About 200 transponders on Indian satellites provide services linked to areas like telecommunication, television, broadband, radio, disaster management and search and rescue services.
- Satellite Based Navigation Applications: With the satellite constellation established, NavIC system is now fully available for position, navigation and timing solution and for derived location-based services. NavIC signal can be extensively used in a variety of civil and commercial activities related to land transportation, aviation, maritime, scientific research etc.
- Remote Sensing and National Natural Resource Management System: The Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) System, with currently 11 satellites in orbit, is one of the largest constellations of remote sensing satellites in operation in the world today. It provides inputs for management of natural resources and various developmental projects across the country using space based imagery.
- Mars Orbiter Mission: India’s first interplanetary mission, the Mars Orbiter Spacecraft was successfully launched on PSLV-C25. It made India become one of the four nations in the world to send a space mission to Planet Mars. Mars Orbiter Mission is mainly intended to establish the Indian technological capability to reach Martian orbit and to explore Mars surface features, morphology, mineralogy and Martian atmosphere by indigenous scientific instruments.
- Lunar mission: India’s maiden moon exploration mission ‘Chandrayaan-1’ was launched in 2008 for mapping the lunar surface with high resolution remote sensing and study the chemical and mineralogical composition. This mission has led tothe detection of the presence of water molecules on the lunar surface, which has set new directions of lunar explorations in the global community. Recently Chandrayaan 2 successfully put an orbiterin the moon’s
- Cryogenic technology: India has successfully achieved flight testing of indigenous cryogenic stage. Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) is capable of placing 2 Tonne class communication satellite into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and India is one among six countries in the world to demonstrate such launch capability to GTO with the use of complex cryogenic technology.
- Space Capsule Recovery: A leap-frog in Indian Launch Vehicle Technology was achieved in 2007 through the Space Capsule Recovery Experiment Mission which established India’s technological capability to recover an orbiting satellite with precise re-entry trajectories.
Socio-economic development through application of space technology:
- Economic growth: Satellite communications, navigation systems, earth observation missions, space science and technology research all create employment, boost economic growth and help make industries more competitive in an intense global market.
- Telemedicine: The Telemedicine programme connects remote/rural hospitals through the Indian satellites to major specialty hospitals in cities and towns. The telemedicine technology utilises Information & Communication Technology (ICT) based system consisting of customised medical software integrated with computer hardware along with medical diagnostic instruments connected to VSATs. Presently, around 165 Telemedicine nodes are operational across the country.
- Tele-education: Under Tele-education programme, the teaching sessions conducted from customised studio are telecast through satellite to schools and colleges. It has manifold benefits by imparting effective teacher training, providing access to experienced resource persons, and thus resulting in effective delivery of quality education to the nook and corners.
- Resource mapping: Survey of various mineral and natural resources have been made possible through remote sensing. Management of these resources, their development conservation and formulation of various policies through remote sensing has helped economic growth.
- Rural development: Bhuvan based application (GeoMNREGA), is being employed for monitoring of rural development activities under major schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development. Geo-MGNREGA has entered the second Phase wherein asset implementation is monitored using Bhuvan app for site selection, during asset creation and also after the creation of the asset.
- Agricultural services: Various meteorological services including information about monsoon, climate flood, cyclonic activities etc. are provided through the technologies. Green revolution had been made possible through this technology. Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment & Management (CHAMAN) has been completed using geoinformatics for faster and efficient collection of ground information, as well as in building up a geodatabase through Bhuvan platform.
- Environmental conservation: They have helped in environment conservation programmes estimation of agricultural production and water resources information. Monitoring & Assessment of Ecosystem Processes in North-West Himalayas is done to understand various processes related to mountain ecosystem, & climate change induced impacts.
- Water conservation: Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) is a flagship programme of the Department of Land Resources. Using multi-temporal IRS high resolution (Cartosat-2 and Resourcesat) data, the monitoring of IWMP Projects is being carried out at National level. Bhuvan based GIS tool, called SRISHTI is used for monitoring and evaluation of the watersheds.
Today, ISRO’s abilities have increased multifold. However, demand for space-based services in India is far greater than what ISRO can supply. Private sector investment is critical, for which a suitable policy environment needs to be created. There is growing realisation that national legislation is needed to ensure overall growth of the space sector. The government has an opportunity to give priority to the private sector and the start-ups.